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2013

Flow 

Grow

Meet the crocs in the river

Realise they are actually in my mind

Flow

Grow

Meet the lurking murk in the mirror

Realise it’s actually in my heart

Love it

Dress it up and take it out for dinner

Become friends

Become lovers

Swing it round and kiss in the rain

Move on

Step outside

Blink

Sigh

Sit down for a bit and look around

Go back inside

Blink

Sigh

Sit down for a bit and look inside

Setting up camp in the woods

Extending my northern horizon

Expanding my eastern horizon

Tearing up the map

Patching up my heart then letting it break open again

Learning that my capacity to love is endless and expansive

Learning to trust myself, and faltering, and remembering, and rinse and repeat

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In the city

We grow from dirt

To photograph our coffee.

Born of the earth

To eat our family

Without a “by your leave”.

When trees are weeping

By the highway

And our blood is pumping

With caffeine

We cannot turn to dance.

Hypervigilant

Overtaxed and

Undersexed

In the city.

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Don’t marry that man

Don’t marry the man who follows white feathers.

Don’t marry the man who knows that your weeping lets you soften.

Don’t marry the man who brings you flowers just because.

Don’t marry the man whose arms bring you deep physical peace.

Don’t marry the man who truly sees you in all your power and vulnerability.

Don’t marry the man who wants to love you for the rest of his years.

When you meet this man don’t marry him.

Choose him every day not just once. 

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What to write about…

Write about what is in your heart each day, write about what you love and what you fear in your humanity. Write about the colours that you see and the rhythms that you feel. Write the words that come out of your mouth when you feel most alive. Write about the unspeakable beauty of the river  with the flaming autumn leaves speckled like a pointillist in the branches and on the ground.

Write about your little dog and how her yearning to be held mirrors your own. Write about the cries of love from your soul and from your soul family. Write about the flame of courage that burns through your resistance to open to let the love in, to feel yourself in being felt. To be vulnerable and soft and wrong, but infinitely lovable and pure perfection.

Write the song of Pegasus as he gazes on the scene, tears of joy strike a spring in your heart and it gushes forth.

Write about the sweet beauty of grief and the fragile transparency of your cocoon, write about the delicate, fine moment between now and then, the veil between here and everywhere, how they are two sides of the same page.

Is there more juice at my fingertips, are the electrons firing and the whirligigs whirling? Are the hammer and tongs sparking on high? A constant stream, a river, a flow.

All wisdom is here, all words are prepared, all feelings are known and all stories are told.

Crack open your inner world like a pomegranate, let the ruby seeds tumble in glistening cascades into the hands and mouths and hearts of all who seek refreshment and the simple sweetness of living.

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99.9% Love

Love has no edges.

There are no borderlands

No signs on the gate

No entry fee

No you and me. 

In an empty room with no walls, all of everywhere is full. 

There is so much nothing no more can fit in

and in that 99.9% of empty space 

love flows! 

love dances! 

love creates life. 

Into that empty space go all the echoes of our doing

And all the vibrations of our being.

Out of that empty space comes life. 

It’s the elegant alchemy of experience. 

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Time to birth your big vision…

You hold a big vision. You know you are a visionary and your dream project is ready to be born. The pressure of its immanence is trying and you feel full to bursting with it. This vision is so magical to you, like a lover or a child, it enchants you and you cherish it fiercely.

You may feel overwhelmed and perhaps some fear about how something so huge can come into form through you. How can you get it out into the world?

Now is the time to slow down, to breathe, to stop pushing. Now is the time to take space, to ground yourself and ground the energy and release the pressure of holding it. Time to let the energy move with its own momentum, to trust its timing.

Now is the time to trust yourself to hold the process and to know what is required of you at every step to bring your dream to life. To know that you alone can do the work that has chosen you.

Now is the time to put down all of what you think you should do, and listen deeply to what wants to happen.

Now is the time to know that it is all within you, prefect,y formed, and that you are called on now to just relax, trust your self and trust life to support the birthing of your vision.

The world wants your gifts, and life wants to help you to deliver them.

I have been on this journey myself over he last 6 years, a journey of many stages, many twists and turns. Along the way I’ve collected some treasures, some fragments of remembering, some simple tools which I have tested and come to trust. I now offer them to you for your journey.

If you are ready to go deeper. To stop and listen. To breathe the next stage if your journey into being. To ground your vision and walk with it step by step, I will walk beside you for a while and see what we see.

If you are ready – and of course you will not feel ready, but you will know that the time has come nonetheless – I will hold a space for you and reflect back to you what you know, what you see and what you carry.

I will hold a space for you to ground your vision and bring it into form.

My invitation to you now is to trust yourself, to trust that you have and will receive everything that you need. To strip away all your trying to do and be and to just take some space to reconnect with what you already are, and to set out from that place.

You can learn to navigate by trusting your body wisdom, you heart and your intuition. Starting small with the everyday moments. You can listen to hear your own voice. You can choose to be utterly yourself and let life have you, all of you. You can create by your choices and own your creations and your agency.

If these words land in your gut and you know this is your time, let’s connect and see how I can be of service to you and your vision at this time.

I offer In person  or Skype coaching sessions and tailor my approach to each individual and their project. 

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For my sister

I wish you to feel the love that comes from all directions

I wish you to stand in the landscape of your dreams and know that you are “in the picture”

I wish you a path that lights up for you as you walk it

I wish you a hot bubbly bath whenever you really need one

I wish you the peace and pleasure of solitude to hear yourself

I wish you snorting, crying, weeing a little bit laughter with true friends

I wish you to experience life as an afternoon tea laid on for your delectation

I wish you  to fly through the forest at night and smell it and hear all the sounds

I wish you to share your gifts wherever you are invited and see the world

I wish you to discover places, people and experiences that feel like they were made just for you

I wish you to know you always have infinite choices

I wish you to know you always have a home with the people who love you

I wish you to be the most kind and loving to yourself when you think you’ve messed up

I wish you to hold on to all the things that you loved as a child and know they are important for you always

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Unkind

One day chasing birds and you’re Mohammed Ali again.
Wind your neck in.
Is it fair?
Your eyes get
Hungry and wild
And suddenly
Everything is a big deal.

I call you up to talk about
My anger and my plans.
You tell me
As if it were the same thing
How you cannot wait
For life
To be over.

You knock at my virtual door
In your virtual pyjamas
With a flickering oil lamp and a bear.
Not tonight.
For God’s sake.
Back out in the cold with you.

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Self care

I’m pre-menstrual
The silence is deafening
The blank page blinding

I’ve stumbled out of the forest into a clearing
And I don’t know what’s supposed to happen here.

I managed to write about the benefits of plastic pipes
Yet I’m terrified to write anything about me.

I believe for a moment in the need to offer
Only a shiny sellable self.

I don’t believe, for a moment, in the
Self that sits here and shakes.

I have a dog now.
He believes in me, I think.

I don’t want to talk about me
Because I don’t have the answers to
The questions that will come.

I’m blindfolded walking a precipice.
The only compass I have is trust.

Following the tiny sparks where they flicker
In my heart.

Dare I believe
That if I look after myself
My self will look after me?

 

 

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Stockholm on the cheap – have a nice time!

Stockholm is known for being an expensive city, clean and expensive. It is both of these things but not to excess. Prices linger around London rates plus a bit, depending on where you are. It is however possible to have lots of fun without splashing the cash.

I discovered this on my first day off from the car parking data collection job which had brought me here, when I realised that my bank was still holding £800 of my advanced expenses out of my reach on account of an Airbnb booking that never was. Oh the glamour of it all!

So I know that “European City on a Shoestring” blogs are a thing, and have even found them quite useful myself at times. So here is my guide of how to spend a day in Stockholm with literally no cash. I’m sure there will be something for everyone…

FOOD AND DRINK

Stockholm is very clean, and there are lots of bins, so one can only assume that these bins contain many hidden morsels. I have seen so far just one person taking advantage of this bounty. This however is not my top tip….

Basically I cheated because I had a breakfast booked that came with my hotel room and filled my belly to bursting with muesli, yoghurt, slices of processed meat and cucumber, rye bread rolls, cold boiled eggs and bitter treacle coffee. Before leaving I filled my Dutch military flask with Apple juice from the big chilled udder and contemplated pocketing some boiled eggs for the road, but there was a lovely polite sign about not taking food out of the room, and nobody at all policing it, which are the exact conditions under which I can’t take the guilt of subversion. Had there been an uptight reception manager body scanning us all on exit for jammy toast in soggy napkins, I might have had a pop just to spite them.

Despite my morning feast, after 12 hours of walking in 2 days I was inevitably hungry again by 3pm. By this time I had transferred to new digs, just across the water in the hipster heartland of Stockholm, Sodermalm. Quietly confident that funds would be released today, I took a leisurely shower and got dressed (3 hours – see ENTERTAINMENT) then breezed out the front door, along the quiet cobbled streets and out among the coffee shops and vintage stores to find some kind of avocado based afternoon treat. Went to withdraw funds for the much awaited afternoon tea. Nada. No dice. £800 still held hostage for no good reason and an unspecified amount of time by a paranoid automated banking system that apparently no human on earth can control or intervene with (scary huh).

So I turn tail and march back to the apartment, remembering the words of our kind host Lena – “take whatever food you find”. Flinging open the cupboards I scrabble together a pleasingly diverse if carbohydrate heavy three course lunch of ryvita with whisky marmalade and earl grey tea, instant Chinese beef noodles, and spaghetti with oil, black pepper and rosemary. Could be a lot worse.

Dinner will be rejected British Airways sandwiches if I’m lucky. My dear friend is arriving this evening and I’m meeting her at the airport. Washed down with whatever we can get in the 7eleven!

TRANSPORT

So how to get around the city with no money? Basically everywhere is walkable, just get on with it and enjoy the walk. When your job is walking, like mine, this might feel like a bit of a busmans holiday (irony) but being able to go at a leisurely place, stop and take it all in, and sing loudly to headphone music, makes it a treat all the same.

Lucky for me, I had something I prepared earlier once again… A weekly public transport ticket. This means I can go out to the airport to meet my friend, and cruise about for a couple of hours for free (see ENTERTAINMENT). An SL card can be purchased at the airport with a week or month pass on it for 320 SEK or 790 SEK respectively. For currency exchange to pounds, just divide it by ten and you are close enough.

ENTERTAINMENT

Now I do pride myself on the fact that, to my knowledge, I have not been truly bored for over 5 years, maybe longer. This don’t come for free. Well it does, but you know, it’s a turn of phrase. I work hard at being amused by something most of the time, or content with being utterly unamused, or amused by nothing. Nothingness can be very very funny when you really encounter it fully.

So how did I amuse myself today in Stockholm? Fairly transparently, by writing this utterly self indulgent blog, but I have lived a fair amount up til now else there would be very little to tell.

Sleep late – like til the last minute before breakfast closes – my favourite manoeuvre!

Be slow – do everything as slowly as you like, luxuriate in it. Stop and look at nothing for a bit, think about that time when you were seven, wonder about that invitation you turned down, feel the texture of the sofa.

I took three hours today to have a shower, cut my nails and my fringe and get dressed. No conscious delaying, just that’s how long it took when there was no schedule to attend to. Getting dressed alone took the entire length of Beyonce’s album Lemonade. There was only one outfit, which I already had in mind (hipster AF, just have to share – blue and white striped knee length yachting shorts, salmon pink shirt, Laura Ashley embroidered wool waistcoat, leather jacket, doc martens – imagine!). I faffed a little with a choice of jacket vs cardigan but that took only a moment to resolve. I don’t know why it took so long. I like being naked so that might be part of it. It makes me think of how little children get so upset by our hurrying them to get dressed after a bath or to leave the house in the morning. They find it such an unnecessary affront to put clothes on at such a pace. Perhaps they are right, they usually are. Yeh…. Think deeply about everything – that’s another one, great free entertainment, who needs the Internet when you have the freewheeling free association of your own mind!

Talk to humans. In a city where free wifi costs you a cup of coffee, in the unlikely scenario where you have no internet access at home (this is me now) spending much of the day immersed in the false social whirlwind of Facebook is not an option, so you will need to talk to humans maybe a bit, depending how introverted you are, or perhaps a cat. In Stockholm most people speak English, so it’s possible to get into a conversation with most people.

It’s possible to have a very smiley drunk man lurch up to you on a sunny afternoon, compliment your style “I just have to say…that.. You have such… Such great..clothing right now…” and end up having a lovely exchange about your respective homelands “…yeh England… Right… Yeh I was an au pair once in Blackpool…. Back in the day… Back …(breaks into song)…when we were heroes!!!……… I’m drunk by the way….baby…”

It’s possible to find real, nice humans outside Espresso House, who will spill the secrets of those places where Stockholm is not expensive, and you can get beers for (whisper it) about four quid!! Who tell you where the hipsters at and the re-lax-ation and the vintage stores and which parks to get drunk in. Who explain to you that only “weed people” smoke rolling tobacco here, it’s not a thing. Sweet flinty eyed young women who tell you where you can go to meet other real, nice humans, with no Botox, and no blonde about them. Who tell you about their teenage trip to London for “the usual, you know, shopping in Primark and Madame Tussaud’s” Who give you four cigarettes and tell you that nobody ever goes out here and nothing happens, but have a nice time, it was good to meet you.

Smoking. Wrangling with self about smoking. Trying to find ways and means of smoking/not smoking. Noticing how I feel about smoking/not smoking. All can help the time go by.

If it gets really bad, hang around the steps of the hostel you stayed at previously and rinse the free wifi to post some pictures of yourself having a splendid time in Stockholm, and see what you are missing out on at home.